The Chelsea Pensioners in Bahrain in 2010
The Bahrain British Business Forum today announced that it will be hosting three of Britain’s war heroes in the Kingdom over the Remembrance Day weekend, with a cultural tour of Bahrain, a Remembrance Day service at St Christopher’s Cathedral, and the laying of the traditional Remembrance Day poppy wreath on the 11th November. A one minute’s silence shall be observed, marking the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (11am, 11th November), marking the time (in the United Kingdom) when armistice became effective. The Pensioners are being flown to Bahrain courtesy of Gulf Air, and shall be guests of honour at the BBBF lunch meeting on 15th November.
“The Chelsea Pensioners” – as they have commonly become known due to their residence in the Royal Hospital in Chelsea in the United Kingdom – fall under the auspices of the Royal British Legion, a UK charity that provides financial, social and emotional support to millions who have served and are currently serving in the Armed Forces, and their dependants.
The Chelsea Pensioners (pictured) visits to Bahrain have become an annual occurrence, and Mr. Khalid Al Zayani, Chairman of the Bahrain British Business Forum, noted that this would not be possible without the support of local businesses, He commented: “The Pensioners greatly enjoy coming to Bahrain and always comment on the hospitality they receive here. I would like to thank those who have supported this year, including Gulf Air, InterContinental Bahrain Hotel, EuroMotors, Bahrain International Circuit, The Diplomat Radisson Blue Hotel, The Bookcase, Dilmun Club, British Club and Gulf Brands International. The support of the community allows us to give the Pensioners a memorable experience which they take back and share with their countrymen, thereby promoting a positive image of Bahrain – something which is at the heart of the BBBF mission.”
This year’s Pensioners are Late Company Sergeant Major John McNaughton, 81, who was previously posted in Bahrain as well as in Cyprus, Jordan and Singapore; Late Staff Sergeant John Hawtree, 66, who has served in Singapore, Hong Kong, Belize and the Falklands; and Late Staff Sergeant William Gorrie, 71, who has served in Brussels, Malaya and Lubecke.
In addition to accommodation at the Intercontinental Bahrain Hotel, the servicemen coming this year will be provided with a chauffeur-driven Land Rover LR2 courtesy of Euro Motors for the duration of their stay. Activities include a special HUMMER off-roading experience from the Bahrain International Circuit and school visits to the British School Bahrain and Saint Christopher’s. The agenda also includes social events at the Dilmun Club and a traditional fish and chip supper at the British Club, along with a cultural experience tour of the island, lunch with acting Servicemen and women based in Bahrain at the British Embassy, a private tea with the British Ambassador, and a BBBF lunch meeting with members and guests. Linda Jennings, owner of The Bookcase in Budaiya, will accompany the Pensioners on their six-day trip.